Seattle, WA: 206-521-5676 Olympia, WA: 360-236-8748 Portland/Salem, OR: 503-768-9742 Info@SolutionsNW.com
How to Prevent Knee Pain When Working from Home

How to Prevent Knee Pain When Working from Home

How to Prevent Knee Pain When Working from Home

How to Prevent Knee Pain When Working from Home
Do you suffer from knee pain during the workday? You’re not alone. A new study reports that one in every four Americans suffers from chronic knee pain.

Many people experience pain or discomfort in the knee joint. Some even end up requiring several surgeries if the knee pain is left unaddressed.Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Knee pain can occur when working from home because of a sedentary lifestyle, environmental change, poor office ergonomics, or job stress.

This guide from the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc., explains the causes of knee pain at work and how you can reduce symptoms. Keep reading to learn how you can prevent knee pain.

What Causes Knee Pain While Working?

Knee pain can happen to anyone at any age. Usually, knee pain is a result of lifestyle habits more so than a genetic predisposition. This is good news because it means with empowered decisions you can reduce, reverse, or prevent your knee pain.

Below are some common causes of knee pain:

  • Intense exercise or overexercising
  • Running “runner’s knee”
  • Unaddressed injuries
  • Being overweight
  • Poor workplace ergonomics
  • Bending your knees too often/for prolonged periods
  • Placing heavy weight on your knees 
  • Crossing your legs for extended periods of time

One or a combination of these factors can cause your knee pain, below are five knee pain solutions to prevent knee pain.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.1. Set Up Your Workstation Ergonomically

Since you spend about a third of your day at your workstation, how you sit while working from home has a huge influence on your knee pain. Keeping your knees bent for extended periods of time is not good. Make sure to stretch frequently or consider a standing desk.

Setting up a workstation with proper ergonomics can be a daunting task. Most workplace managers or human resource managers will hire an Ergonomics Consultant to design their employees’ workstations, whether in-office or remote. Contact your management today to see if this is something they offer. Or consider a virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be affordable enough to invest in for remote workers.

2. Strengthen Your Hips and Glutes

When the muscles surrounding the knees are weak, it puts all of the pressure of your body weight on the knees. Work on strengthening your hips and glutes with strength training twice a week. Doing so will build the surrounding muscles to protect your knees.

3. Improve Your Posture

Posture impacts everything from your vagus nerve to your knee health. It’s often overlooked.

The mid-day slump is a common cause of chronic pain for desk workers. Be mindful of your posture at all times.

Your feet should evenly touch the floor and your screen should be at eye level. Your shoulders should be relaxed on your armrests throughout your workday. Poor posture, if not addressed, will also strain the neck, back, arms, and legs.

Related article: “4 Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work

4. Move Every Hour or Half Hour

Even if you’re sitting in the best position with the best posture, your knees “lock” into a position. This is never good for them. Keep things fluid by taking 250 steps every hour (about 2 minutes of walking).

Consider setting a timer on your phone to remind you to take a break.

Related article: “5 Reasons Work Breaks Boost Productivity

5. Incorporate Self-Care

The workday puts a lot of stress on the body. Make sure to incorporate self-care into each work week. Go for walks, swim, get a massage, or try knee acupuncture.

Use Proper Ergonomics to Design Your Home Office Setup

Remote work is a luxury to be enjoyed. If you feel that working from home has worsened your knee pain, take charge.

Speak with your office manager or human resources manager and ask them to schedule an ergonomics assessment for your workstation.

You may also consider a virtual ergonomics consultation where a professional ergonomics consultant will advise you on simple changes that can prevent knee pain (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone). They’ll also address any other issues such as neck pain or carpal tunnel. Once your workstation is comfortable, you will likely find yourself working not only pain free, but in a timelier and more productive manner!

If you or your remote employees need to design an ergonomic home workspace, contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. for more information.

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

Standing Workstation Ergonomics: Frequently Asked Questions

Standing Workstation Ergonomics: Frequently Asked Questions

Standing Workstation Ergonomics: Frequently Asked Questions

Standing Workstation Ergonomics: Frequently Asked Questions Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Standing workstations accounted for 95% of desk sales in 2019, and experts expect this number to rise. Those interested in proper workstation ergonomics (ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment) already know that standing desks contribute to an ergonomic office by improving employee health and productivity.

Keep reading if you’re considering a new desk for your office or home office. Below are a few frequently asked questions about standing workstations that the ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. commonly answer.

What are the Benefits of a Standing Workstation?

The popularity of standing workstations is no mistake. The standing workstation can help combat the adverse effects of sitting all day. There are many health benefits to using a standing workstation. Here are a few.

  • Lower Blood Sugar – Standing after your lunch break can help reduce the blood sugar spike from eating. High blood sugar levels are associated with poor health. A sedentary lifestyle is a precursor to Type II Diabetes. Even something as simple as standing to digest your meal can lower your risk.

  • Lowered Risk of Weight Gain – Even standing in one place at your standing workstation burns more calories than sitting. To stave off weight gain, you must burn more calories than you eat. An afternoon spent standing at work instead of sitting can burn 170 calories; if you stand every afternoon all week, you can make a big difference.
  • Lower Risk of Heart Disease –Exercise is key to lowering the risk of heart disease but sitting all day may negate the effects of your workout. Standing appears to be better for heart health.
  • Higher Energy Levels – You’ve probably noticed how sleepy you feel sitting at your desk, especially in the afternoon. Studies show that standing workstations can decrease feelings of fatigue and stress. Your body is more alert when it has to hold itself up.

What are the Downsides of a Standing Workstation?

After going over the benefits of standing while working, we must acknowledge that there are also risks to standing all day the same as there are risks to sitting all day.

Jobs that require standing for many hours have shown to cause pain and swelling in the feet along with certain vascular complications. Standing all day can also add unnecessary strain on your hips, ankles, and knees.

This is why most people will choose to invest in a sit-stand desk that allows you to lower and raise the height of the desk throughout the day. Our ergonomics consultants recommend setting a timer to switch between sitting and standing to allow for a more a balanced workday.

Related Article: “Sitting vs Standing at Your Desk

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.Standing Workstations FAQ:
Now that you know you can sit and stand throughout your work day using a sit-stand desk, let’s try answering a few frequently asked questions about standing workstations that the ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. commonly answer below.

Will a Standing Workstation Help with My Back Pain?

Standing workstations can reduce neck, back, and shoulder pain. In some experiments, even individuals with chronic back pain found relief from standing desks.

How High Should I Have My Standing Workstation?

To determine your standing workstation’s correct height, stand up as you usually would. Then, bend your elbows until your forearms are parallel to the ground.

The distance between your elbow and the floor is the ideal height for your workstation. Adjust the height depending on what shoes you’re wearing or if you use a desk mat. 

Are Standing Workstations Affordable?

There are many different options for workstations. Some are very affordable, and others are more pricey. The cost will depend on the number of different configurations, the mobility of the unit, and the types of built-in accessories. Shop around for what suits your budget and your needs. 

Standing Workstation Ergonomics

The popularity of standing workstations speaks for itself. Workers love standing workstations for the health benefits, like decreased risk of heart disease and weight gain to improved back pain and energy levels. 

However, as we noted, our ergonomics consultants recommend purchasing an adjustable sit-stand desk that will allow workers to take a break from standing and sit down throughout the workday.

If you have other standing desk questions or need more help finding ergonomic solutions for your workplace, contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. for a consultation.

We offer both in-person ergonomics assessments and virtual ergonomics assessment. Through our detailed assessment tools, you can find out exactly what you need to fix in the office for better health and productivity in the workspace.

Check out our website SolutionsNW.com for more details on how you can find the best office setup today!

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

3 Benefits of Conducting an In-Person Ergonomics Assessment

3 Benefits of Conducting an In-Person Ergonomics Assessment

3 Benefits of Conducting an In-Person Ergonomics Assessment

3 Benefits of Conducting an In-Person Ergonomics AssessmentErgonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

“Ergonomics injuries” account for 30 percent of all workplace injuries. These injuries happen more often when workstations have not been properly designed. This is why most businesses will hire an ergonomics assessment company that can help by observing, analyzing, and recommending how to design a workstation that is tailored to a worker’s needs. 

There are several more reasons why ergonomics assessments are a good idea, including increased productivity and reduced sick days for workers.

Once you accomplish an overview, thanks to an ergonomics consulting company, you’ll have a system to help your employees.

Here is more on the three benefits of hiring an ergonomics consultant company to perform an ergonomic assessment

1. Increased Employee Productivity 

A workplace designed by ergonomics consulting companies will boost worker productivity and make your workplace more efficient. When employees work in a comfortable space put together by an ergonomics consultant, they will stay focused and get more work done. 

In many jobs, employees do repetitive tasks, meaning each motion is the same throughout the day. Ergonomics consulting companies understand how to create an environment that avoids or prevents injuries that can be caused by repetitive motion.

When employees are active and alert, thanks proper ergonomics, they put in a full day and even feel more appreciated and valued as workesr.

2. Reduced Sick Days

About 76 percent of Americans have access to paid sick leave. With back, neck, hip, and shoulder pain, some employees will take multiple sick days for doctor visits or to sit home and rest. 

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.Ergonomics assessments can reduce overall sick days. With fewer musculoskeletal problems, employees will consistently be present for work. 

Sick days also cost money over time due to lost productivity. And in some cases, those employees must be replaced, or you must pay others overtime to get the work finished.

3. Improved Employee Morale

Ergonomics assessments can improve morale by not only decreasing the pain a worker may experience, but also by showing them that you value their health and safety.

People’s moods and attitudes will be much more pleasurable throughout the day, leading to a positive workplace culture.

When people are happier on the job, they tend to work for a company longer, which means less turnover. Furthermore, having an experienced staff means they can take on more complicated projects and help the company earn more money over the long term. 

Higher morale means better job satisfaction and better on-the-job engagement. 

Three Benefits of a Workplace Ergonomics Assessments 

The three benefits of a workplace ergonomic assessment we discussed are better productivity, fewer sick days, and improved morale. These are just some benefits of hiring an ergonomics consulting company for your workplace! 

The ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. are here to help you create an ergonomic workplace. Contact us today if you are ready to hire an ergonomics consultant for your business. We can help you set up a plan to examine and analyze your space.

We can even help you if you have a lot of remote workers by setting up their workspaces with an affordable, virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).

For more information contact us at SolutionsNW.com, we will be happy to help you!

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

3 Benefits of an Ergonomics Office Desk for Workers

3 Benefits of an Ergonomics Office Desk for Workers

3 Benefits of an Ergonomics Office Desk for Workers

Sitting at a desk for work seems like a safe job at first glance, but employees around the world have discovered an increasing number of workplace-related injuries in the office. These stem from the fact that most desk workers are required to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day while performing repetitive tasks that could Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.eventually lead to injuries in the future.

Ergonomics aims to prevent workplace discomfort and protect the spinal health of employees before injuries occur. With efficiency in mind, ergonomic experts  help to design office setups to make work-related injuries a thing of the past.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of investing in ergonomics in the workplace, specifically using an ergonomic office desk.

Ergonomic Desks Help Improve Posture and Spinal Alignment While Working

Ergonomic desks are designed with the human body in mind. When working in an office for extended periods of time every single day, it’s important for your employees to sit with proper alignment. This looks after their long-term spinal health and helps improve their posture.

For example, height-adjustable desks and chairs tailor the standard desk setup. This makes them appropriate for employees of different heights. Employees can adjust their chairs until their feet touch the ground, and then adjust their desks to be at elbow height. This means no hunching over, no dangling legs, and no unnecessary strain on your employees’ spines.

Related Article: “4 Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work”

Decreased Health Risks at Work

Ergonomic desks assist with spinal alignment, seated posture, and standing posture. This reduces employees’ risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) due to prolonged static postures. Common WMSDs include carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and chronic back pain.

Ergonomics desks that can adjust to be sitting or standing desks will give employees the chance to move around throughout the day. Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day decreases the risk of lifestyle diseases. These include diabetes and heart disease. It also improves heart health and increases blood flow.

Related Article: “How to Avoid Wrist and Hand Pain While Working

Increased Employee Productivity and Engagement

Because ergonomics removes pain and discomfort from office work, it makes it easier for employees to focus and be productive. They don’t need to regularly adjust their position, and they don’t require frequent breaks to rest their wrists or stretch out their backs.

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.A proper desk helps employees remain alert and awake. When they’re comfortable and alert, employees can complete work faster and more efficiently.

Furthermore, when you invest in the health and safety of your employees, they notice. Investing in ergonomic design shows your employees that you value them and want them to be comfortable in the office. Feeling respected and cared for in the workplace is the best way to boost company morale and encourage employee engagement.

Related Article: “What is Ergonomics in the Workplace?

Consult with an Ergonomics Expert to Help Choose Ergonomic Furniture and Design Your Office Today!

Even though office life is always changing, ergonomics is clearly here to stay. There are so many benefits to using ergonomic furniture. Improved posture, decreased health risks, and increased productivity are the tip of the iceberg.

Ergonomic furniture has changed the lives of employees around the world. If you need help choosing the best ergonomic furniture when designing your office, schedule an ergonomics assessment with one of the ergonomics experts today.  The experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. help you get the right ergonomic equipment to ensure a safe and productive workplace!

You may also want to consider an affordable virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

5 Reasons to Hire an Ergonomics Consultant for Your Workplace

5 Reasons to Hire an Ergonomics Consultant for Your Workplace

5 Reasons to Hire an Ergonomics Consultant for Your Workplace Did you know workplace injuries cost a total of $163.9 billion in 2020, $44.8 billion of which were related to wage and productivity losses? What can you do to assuage these workplace injuries and losses? Hiring an ergonomic consultant to do an ergonomics assessment is a great start! Read on to find out why this can be the best thing you do to ensure your workers are comfortable and productive at their workplace – from office workers to warehouse workers to remote workers! 1. Investing in Ergonomics Assessments Helps You Save Money As mentioned already, businesses are spending billions every year in dealing with all the obvious and HIDDEN costs of workplace injuries. Some of these costs are related to things like: • Lost workdays • Administrative costs • Lost productivity • Reduced turnover There are different ergonomics for a computer user, vs. a factory worker, so you need to bring an ergonomics expert to set up your unique workspace properly for each worker and workstation. 2. Proper Ergonomics Can Help Boost Worker Productivity The better equipped and comfortable workers are while they work, the more productive they will be. You don’t have to imagine how much more efficient a worker can be if his/her workplace is set up in a way where they don’t feel aches and pains every time they work. Related article: “Home Office: 3 Tips to Prevent Muscle Cramps and Aches” 3. Ergonomic Design Reduces Fatigue and Frustration in Workers Workers spend 8 or more hours a day at their work desk or in their workstation. If it’s set up in a way that causes them discomfort, they are going to spend more time complaining, in frustration, and feeling exhausted from the whole affair, than working. This frustration and fatigue can potentially transfer over to their free time as well, which can taint every aspect of their life. This could increase the employee turnover in your company, which will cost you more in the long run. Related article: “Office Ergonomics Safety Tips for a More Efficient and Comfortable Workspace” 4. Investing in Proper Ergonomics Makes Your Workers Realize You Care Do you want your workers to believe that you think of them as just a cog in your wheel? Or do you wish for them to know that you truly care? By hiring an ergonomics consultant to design an ergonomic workplace, you are clearly indicating to everyone that yours is a caring company. 5. Ergonomics Can Create a General Culture of Safety When you bring in ergonomic experts, not only will you have cleared up any workspaces that might cause injuries, but you also create a widespread culture of safety in your organization. When safety is made a priority in one area of business, it will tend to trickle into every other aspect as well. Hire an Experienced Ergonomic Consultant Today It’s time you realized that investing in preventing workplace injury will save you money in the long run. Bring in an ergonomic consultant today and enjoy happier and more productive workers. Contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to see how we can help you create an ergonomic workplace. We can even help you if you have a lot of remote workers in setting up their workspaces with an affordable virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone). For more information contact us at SolutionsNW.com, we will be happy to help you! At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today. Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR. Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

5 Reasons to Hire an Ergonomics Consultant for Your WorkplaceErgonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Did you know workplace injuries cost a total of $163.9 billion in 2020, $44.8 billion of which were related to wage and productivity losses?

What can you do to assuage these workplace injuries and losses? Hiring an ergonomic consultant to do an ergonomics assessment is a great start! Read on to find out why this can be the best thing you do to ensure your workers are comfortable and productive at their workplace – from office workers to warehouse workers to remote workers!

1. Investing in Ergonomics Assessments Helps You Save Money

As mentioned already, businesses are spending billions every year in dealing with all the obvious and HIDDEN costs of workplace injuries. Some of these costs are related to things like:

  • Lost workdays
  • Administrative costs
  • Lost productivity
  • Reduced turnover

There are different ergonomics for a computer user, vs. a factory worker, so you need to bring an ergonomics expert to set up your unique workspace properly for each worker and workstation.

2. Proper Ergonomics Can Help Boost Worker Productivity

The better equipped and comfortable workers are while they work, the more productive they will be.

You don’t have to imagine how much more efficient a worker can be if his/her workplace is set up in a way where they don’t feel aches and pains every time they work. 

Related article: “Home Office: 3 Tips to Prevent Muscle Cramps and Aches

3. Ergonomic Design Reduces Fatigue and Frustration in Workers

Workers spend 8 or more hours a day at their work desk or in their workstation. If it’s set up in a way that causes them discomfort, they are going to spend more time complaining, in frustration, and feeling exhausted from the whole affair, than working.

This frustration and fatigue can potentially transfer over to their free time as well, which can taint every aspect of their life. This could increase the employee turnover in your company, which will cost you more in the long run.

Related article: “Office Ergonomics Safety Tips for a More Efficient and Comfortable Workspace

4. Investing in Proper Ergonomics Makes Your Workers Realize You Care

Do you want your workers to believe that you think of them as just a cog in your wheel? Or do you wish for them to know that you truly care?

By hiring an ergonomics consultant to design an ergonomic workplace, you are clearly indicating to everyone that yours is a caring company.

5. Ergonomics Can Create a General Culture of Safety

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.When you bring in ergonomic experts, not only will you have cleared up any workspaces that might cause injuries, but you also create a widespread culture of safety in your organization.

When safety is made a priority in one area of business, it will tend to trickle into every other aspect as well. 

Hire an Experienced Ergonomic Consultant Today

It’s time you realized that investing in preventing workplace injury will save you money in the long run. Bring in an ergonomic consultant today and enjoy happier and more productive workers. 

Contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to see how we can help you create an ergonomic workplace. We can even help you if you have a lot of remote workers in setting up their workspaces with an affordable virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).

For more information contact us at SolutionsNW.com, we will be happy to help you!

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.

Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide!

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

Ice versus Heat for Lower Back

Ice versus Heat for Lower Back

By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Solutions Northwest, Inc. – Arcata, California

Ice VS Heat for Lower Back Pain Relief

“More than half of Americans (54%) who experience low back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting.” TheGoodBody

Whether your workstation has been designed by an ergonomic specialist or not, constantly sitting at your work desk can lead to lower back pain. In fact, 54% of Americans with sedentary jobs experienced low back pain.

After a long day of sitting at work, you may want to treat your back pain, but should you grab the ice pack or the heating pad?

After Injury, Apply Cold Therapy First

If you injure your lower back, it is best to apply cold therapy during the first 24 to 72 hours. Cold therapy will help minimize inflammation and swelling, which reduces pain and can decrease tissue damage. While there are special ice packs designed for cold therapy, a frozen towel or even a bag of vegetables will do.

However, it is important to be careful when using ice packs as they can burn your skin. Try using a cloth between your skin and the cold source. Do not use cold therapy for more than 20 minutes at a time and do not use it more than 10 times during a 24 hour period.

Apply Heat After Initial Swelling and Inflammation has Subsided

After you use cold therapy to bring down swelling and inflammation, begin using heat therapy to encourage the healing process. Heat therapy increases the blood flow to your injury, bringing more nutrients to the injured area while flushing out the injured debris. Heat also increases tissue elasticity, which helps relieve tension and knots.

For minor back tension, 15-20 minutes of heat therapy may be enough. For more intense pain, 30 minutes to 2 hours of heat therapy may be needed.

Apply dry or moist heat (whichever you prefer) with over the counter heat pads, creams, saunas, or hot tub. An easy home remedy is to fill an old sock with rice or oatmeal, tie or sew it shut, and put it in the microwave for 1-3 minutes.

Use caution to avoid burns, as you should be experiencing warmth and not intense heat.

Ice vs Heat for Chronic Lower Back Pain

What if you don’t have a new injury, but just have chronic lower back pain from sitting all day at the office? In this case, there really is no right answer when it comes to hot versus cold. Everyone is different, so trial and error may be in order.

However, some experts suggest that you should use heat therapy to loosen up your muscles for the work day and use cold therapy afterward to help with any pain and inflammation.

In Conclusion

Remember, when it comes to any kind of pain or injury, always consult with your doctor first. Also, be sure to get up and walk around every 20 minutes while at work and live an active life to help avoid any workplace injuries. For more health tips, exercise ideas, and suggestions to keep your workplace a healthy environment, check out our blog featuring advice from our ergonomics experts.

For an ergonomics consultation to keep your workplace safe and healthy, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more detailed information.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California (Arcata), Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

 

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